Illustrated by Robin Robinson
While Isabel's upbringing among the elite of San Francisco in wake of the Great Fire may have some considering her fortunate, neither of her parents particularly know how to interact with her, and she is often told to be "seen, not heard." While visiting her sculptor father in Carmel for the summer, Isabel mysteriously traverses the veil between the fairy realm and the human realm, and she immediately gets pulled into a life-or-death quest that will determine the outcome of a brutal war between the two halves of fairydom: seelie and unseelie. She quickly makes a few friends who also want to see her quest fulfilled, and she'll have to rely on them and her strange magical abilities to deliver a stolen necklace to the princess of the seelie.
This is a beautiful adventure story with a sympathetic main character whose neglect is palpable in the first few pages. She takes up the mantel of the quest fairly easily, but it's pretty believable given that going back home means more time without anyone caring what happens to her. Button, her mushroom seelie friend, is pretty feisty and sometimes comical, so he provides some needed moments of laughter. There's also some good representation between the two human characters as Isabel is Latinx and Benji, a boy who was rescued by fairies after the Fire, is Filipino. The seelie and unseelie characters all have really unique designs and aren't like the typical fairies people might be used to, which gave this story some freshness in a landscape covered in fairy books.
Robinson's colors are absolutely beautiful throughout the book, and are showcased on the cover expertly. The landscapes and cityscapes are also a joy to look at, especially the scenes where the characters move back and forth through the veil and we can compare the fairy world to the human world.
There is some violence and blood on the page, and we see one character die in panel.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-10
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
ISBN: 9781626724570 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Magic, Action Adventure, Family, First Second
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I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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